Before reading this text, it is recommended to view the following video about the life of the VW T1, THE LAST WISHES OF THE KOMBI, a beautifully made movie.

A simple and robust construction, enough cargo space and seating for up to 1000kg, a low purchase price and inexpensive to maintain. These were the main reasons for the succesfull sale of the VW van, which has dominated the Brazilian market for 56 years. The idea of the VW van was formed in 1947 by the Dutchman Ben Pon to design a company van based on the technology of the VW Beetle. During it's period in Brazil, Volkswagen has always managed to surpass it's performance and customer expectations with innovative products and technologies.

The Brazilian period (until 1975)

1950 - In record time the design was completed and the VW van was produced in series. The van was called the Volkswagen Transporter (or T1), a van or station wagon with three windows on the sides and removable seats. Volkswagen used the term "Kombinationsfahrzeug", which is why in Brazil the van was named KOMBI. The first kombis arrived the same year in Brazil, unlike other new models from Europe and the United States. The company BrasMotor, Volkswagen's representative in Brazil, imported the first two kombis and 10 beetles. It was a great success and the vehicles were sold for twice the price. The import of the kombi had begun, and installation / assembly of the models was performed in Brazil.

1953 - The Volkswagen assembly plant was established in Brazil after the Brazilian government banned the import of vehicles in 1953. Volkswagen opened its own subsidiary in Brazil and began to assemble the car with imported parts from Germany. While the plant was still in the construction phase, a warehouse was used in Sao Paulo.

1957 - Due to the great success of sales, VW Brazil announced to build a factory in Brazil, which would not be limited to only the assembly of the vehicles, but also for Brazil to become an export base for South America. The official inauguration of the Anchieta factory in Sao Bernardo do Campo in São Paulo, the first VW factory outside of Germany, took place on November 18, 1959, in which the president Juscelino Kubitschek was driven around in a VW Beetle convertible. The first models were produced with 50% of raw materials from Brazil, based on the weight and not on the number of parts. The factory is considered an industrial complex for complete manufacturing of vehicles including final assembly and also center for research, planning and development of new products. The first van is produced in Brazil on September 2, 1957. The vehicle was equipped with an air-cooled boxer engine displacement 1192cm3, 2000 rpm and maximum power of 36PK. The loading capacity was 840kg

1960 -The kombi is one of the highlights on the first Volkswagen Motor Show in São Paulo. The version with six doors was launched, produced for taxi drivers and hotels. There was also introduced a 'tourism' version, adapted for camping, complete with a canopy on the side.

1961 - The use of national resources has now risen to 95%, and first gear is already synchronized. The great rival of the kombi was the Ford Rural, but the kombi was cheaper and sold better. From 1962 to 1966 the kombi has undergone several improvements, such as new and larger oval taillights and turn signals on the front. The rear increased in size, and two corner windows were added.

1967 - Arrival of the new engine 44PK and 4200 rpm, and the application of a modern electrical system 12V. The car is gaining stability by the new 14-inch wheels. The cargo load will be extended to 1000kg. In the same year was launched the pickup version. The option is also offered in the coming years to drive in difficult terrain. In 1970, safety belts and a fire extinguisher are added.

1975 - End of production of the T1 in Brazil. In Germany, the production of the T1 already stopped in 1967.

The Brazilian period T2 (from 1975)

1981 - The kombi is equipped with a 50 horsepower water-cooled diesel engine with the radiator to the front, among others available in the pickup. What should have been an economical solution, resulted in disappointment with many cases of engines that did not reach the 100.000km. The engine choice was stopped in 1985. The same year the double cab version was launched of the pickup with three doors. The following year a 57 hp engine was launched on alcohol. From 1983 there was more attention for security, disc brakes and three-point seat belt in the front seat. In 1992, the kombi gets a catalyst to reduce CO2 emissions.

1997 - Brazil's second generation enters 1997 with higher ceilings and doors, similar to the model of the 70s in Europe. The interior is 11cm wider and the separation between the cab and the passenger compartment has been removed. The tires are R14-185 for greater stability. The Deluxe version was called Carat, with velvet chairs and indicators on the front of a white crystal. The following year, the engine received an electronic injection. Due to the disappointing sales this model was abolished in 1999. In 2000, the pickup also left the production line and it was decided to produce the kombi only in white color.

2005 - The year is marked by a radical change: Volkswagen announces the end of the air-cooled engine. The kombi was the only vehicle in the world that had this kind of technology. To mark the end of this age, the Kombi series Prata is produced with only 200 models. This model had green glass, and tinted indicators.

2006 - Last major technical changes in the vehicle. The kombi will become flex, performed with the export engine of the VW Fox. The engine power is 80 hp at 4,800 rpm, and maximum speed 130 km/h, but the gear is still manual. The dashboard has also changed into a similar style of the VW Fox.

2007 - The kombi reaches 50 years of production in Brazil and accounts for 7.2% of the total sales of commercial vehicles in Brazil. To commemorate the date, a special serie is being launched with only 50 models.

2013 - The last year of production of the kombi in Brazil. Specially launched the serie "Last Edition", with 1,200 models for the price of 85,000 Brazilian reais, equivalent to about € 30,000. On December 19, the last kombi is produced at the factory in Anchieta in São Bernardo do Campo. Brazil is the last factory in the world that has produced the T2. The production of the T2 is stopped due to increased security requirements, an end to a legendary vehicle.


Volkswagen do Brasil in numbers since 1953:

- More than 21 million cars produced in Brazil
- 60 years of production in Brazil and the first country in the world with a VW factory outside Germany.
- More than 3 million vehicles exported to 147 countries
- More than 18 million vehicles sold domestically
- Approximately 22,000 employees currently working in four factories
- More than 30 models developed in the country
- Surface factories more than 1.6 million m2 (built area)
- About 650 dealers